Did you know April is National Records and Information Management Month? While it may not be as recognizable a period as awareness events related to health or history, we think it’s a good time to talk about the benefits of keeping good records at home. Of course, self-storage can play a role in this, and at Eden Way Storage Center we’re always happy to help Chesapeake residents and area military get organized.
When you maintain tidy financial records and organized shelves at home, you tend to feel less stressed. You also don’t spend time tearing the house apart looking for that receipt or ledger. Given that we’re close to the year’s tax deadline, it’s important to have a system in place so A) future filings are done with ease, and B) another family member can step in to help in the event of an emergency.
The Internal Revenue Service recommends holding onto records of filed tax returns for three years from the date of filing, or seven years if you’ve filed a claim for a financial loss. (Source: IRS) In the event of an audit, the IRS may look at records going back anywhere from three to six years depending on your situation – so it’s not a bad idea to hang onto your information.
Accordion folders, labeled according to the year of the return, hold paperwork well. You can store folders in a large, transparent bin for easy access. Kept in a climate-controlled storage unit with a secure lock, your records remain safe until you need to consult them.
Other storage hacks to consider:
- Do you tend to keep photos and documents on flash drives? Flash, or thumb drives aren’t meant for long-term digital storage, but some of us use them that way. If so, consider keeping a key with a description of the drive’s outer shell and a list of what’s on each. That way you’re not plugging and unplugging drives all day looking for one picture.
- Keep an eye out for shredding events in your area. Eventually the records you have should be destroyed when they are no longer valid. Banks and other businesses will sponsor shreds at various times of the year. It’s a good way to securely protect your personal information.